Stirling Carriage Works
1858 – 1916
The building in Port Street currently occupied by chain-store Marks and Spencer was once the premises of a Stirling firm which enjoyed a world-wide reputation for the excellence of its splendid carriages.
The firm of William Kinross and Sons, Stirling, was founded in 1802 by William Croall (no relation, as far as can be ascertained at present, to Alexander Croall of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum) and Henry Kinross, who established a coachworks near Shore Road. William Croall’s sons left the firm to set up business in Edinburgh, and Henry Kinross assumed control of the firm. He rapidly built up a reputation for innovative design and good workmanship, his enterprise being recognised in 1837 with the appointment ‘Coachmaker to Queen Victoria’. When Her Majesty visited Stirling in 1842, the Royal party was followed by a Kinross coach, specially built to carry seventy passengers. During this period, one of Henry’s apprentices was Charles Randolph, who later became a pioneer in marine engineering.
Henry’s nephew William took over the business after Henry’s death in 1845 and continued to expand the firm. After successfully exhibiting in London at the Great Exhibition of 1851 the firm began exporting their coaches and carriages overseas, moving to the larger premises in Port Street in 1865 to cope with demand. Much of their success also was due to the opening of the Scottish Central Railway Company’s line through Stirling, which resulted in a comfortably full order book for Kinross. Willam died in 1874 and his two sons George and James took control, eventually moving away from the manufacture of the stately coach to the horseless carriage. The Henry Kinross buried here is a descendant of the founder of the firm.
The firm moved out to St Ninians in the 1960s and closed shortly after.